04 June 2021 - NW1434
Bryant, Mr D W to ask the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment
(1) What was the capital expenditure on the Table Mountain National Park’s (TMNP) Hoerikwaggo Trail which was meant to be the TMNP flagship overnight trail intended to stimulate tourism and create much-needed jobs; (2) whether there has been any consequence management for the TMNP management who have allowed the Hoerikwaggo Trail to fall into disrepair; if not, why not; if so, (3) whether the issue of falling into disrepair of the Hoerikwaggo Trail has been raised as fruitless and wasteful expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, Act 1 of 1999; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) what has happened to the skills upliftment programme associated with the specified trail; (5) whether the affected individuals and/or employees have been offered alternative opportunities at the Hoerikwaggo Trail; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?
(1) The capital expenditure for the Table Mountain National Park’s (TMNP) Hoerikwaggo trail was approximately R15 million.
(2) No consequence management needed to be implemented because the trail is still functional and no staff member acted negligently. As a result, SANParks did not incur any fruitless or wasteful expenditure. Currently, there are two tented camps which are not operational: the Silvermine Tented Camp was destroyed in the devastating 2015 fires and the Orangekloof tented camp was closed due to persistent crime incidents and security challenges in the area. SANParks will establish a feasible commercial opportunity at the Silvermine camp. The Orangekloof tented camp is harder to secure as it is situated in close proximity to human settlements and is easily accessible through various non-controlled access points as Table Mountain is an open access national park.
(3) The trail is still functional, and the organisation derives value from the use of the trail for Tourism purposes. Guests still book into the Wash houses, Overseers Cottage, Slangkop and Smitwinkel tented camps for overnight stays and to hike sections of the trail. Therefore, the amount spent on the trail does not qualify to be declared fruitless and wasteful expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (No. 1 of 1999).
(4) The skills development of employees is an ongoing exercise and staff have been trained on various courses or skills as part of the program outputs.
(5) Employees who had been employed at the tented camps that were closed down were redeployed in other areas of the Park and are all still employed at TMNP. Therefore, there were no job losses as a result of the closure of the two camps.
MS B D CREECY, MP
MINISTER OF FORESTRY, FISHERIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT